Another moon is rising in the sky of romance - a mini-moon.

It's sort of a quickie honeymoon, taken when newlyweds put off their major honeymoon trip and go off on a short getaway instead. It can even be a pre-wedding trip to give the couple a break from the pressures of wedding planning.

That kind of thing has been done for years, but now it's got a name and is becoming a more common element of modern weddings.

David and Amie Sibila, for instance, didn't know they were taking a "mini-moon" when they got married two years ago at Walt Disney World. But that's what it was.

"It [their big wedding at Disney World] was something we'd always wanted, and it was perfect," David says. "But with all the planning, so much of our focus was on the wedding that the last thing we wanted was to have to plan a honeymoon too, doing both things back-to-back. We wanted time alone after days of dinners, events and hosting. So after the wedding we went on a short getaway."

Their choice: the Don Cesar Hotel in St. Petersburg Beach, next to Clearwater on Florida's Gulf Coast. "It was a perfect way to relax, watching the sunset, having a massage, having champagne," he says.

That three-day trip gave the couple from Alexandria, Va., time later on to plan their real honeymoon - and time to save for it.

"A year later, on our anniversary, we went to Italy," David says. "Doing it on our anniversary made it really special."

It seems more couples are taking the same route.

Mini-moons typically are taken within driving distance or perhaps a short flight from the wedding site, to an inn, a spa or major hotel, says Millie Martini Bratten, editor-in-chief of Brides magazine. "Something easy, but romantic."

Such as a place down the Shore. The Gables, in Beach Haven, Long Beach Island, offers a package with rates of $400 to $500 a night, including a five-course dinner for two ($84.50 per person when bought separately), breakfast in bed, and flowers.

Or in the Poconos, where Skytop Lodge provides a chilled bottle of champagne, a bouquet of flowers, activities, three meals a day and afternoon tea. Prices start at $427 per couple per night this month and $598 for weekend nights in May and June.

Meanwhile, the couple saves for a real honeymoon trip, "perhaps six or seven months later," Bratten says. "These are young professionals, and they want to savor every moment to make it special."

Mini-moons may not be a recognized name among some hotels and destinations, but they certainly have caught the attention of Disney World, which hosts 1,500 weddings a year.

"It's definitely a trend we've noticed, especially with destination weddings," says Korri McFann, manager of marketing for Disney weddings and honeymoons. Disney has set up a registry for mini-mooners who want to take their real honeymoon later.

Just because a mini-moon trip is short doesn't mean it's skimpy.

"Mini-moons can be fabulous," Susan Breslow Sardone says on About.com. "A whirlwind romantic weekend in a new city, sleeping in a top-rated hotel, savoring delicious meals at just-discovered restaurants or from room service, seeing the sights."

Says Amy Ziff of Travelocity in her online column: "If you're doing the mini-moon right, it's a weekend trip that will leave you longing for another one . . . and look out, because it packs quite a punch - and can take a bite out of your wallet as well."

How big a bite? A three-night Mini-Moon Escape Package at Milliken Creek Inn in California's Napa Valley, for example, starts at $2,475 per couple. Mandarin Oriental is offering luxury Mini-Moon packages at its four European hotels, starting at about $1,266 for one night.

Most hotels and inns, however, haven't put together mini-moon packages. But just about every hotel offers a romance package, which is basically the same thing.

The cost doesn't have to be astronomical. The Hyatt Regency Bonaventure in Weston, Fla., for instance, has an Amour package that includes a bottle of champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, and a buffet or room-service breakfast, starting at $216 a night.

Perhaps the best mini-moon deals - and among the most popular - are aboard cruise ships. Five lines offer short cruises (three or four nights) out of South Florida. A three-night sailing out of Miami in a balcony cabin on Carnival Cruise Line's Fascination, for example, goes for $559 per person, and that includes lodging, all meals and entertainment. Inside rooms go as low as $249.

Short cruises also are available out of other cities, and there are seven-day cruising mini-moons.

"We get 2,300 weddings a year, and because many weddings are on Saturdays, Sunday departures [for seven-night cruises] are very popular," Carnival's Vance Gulliksen says.

While mini-moons might be perfect for some couples immediately after the wedding, they shouldn't take the place of an extended trip later, to reconnect, Brides magazine's Bratten cautions.

"Make those plans for a full honeymoon."

Top 10 Honeymoon Spots

When picking your honeymoon location, it might be a good idea to check newlyweds' favorites. Here are last year's Top 10 honeymoon locations, from Honeymooner's Review Guide:

1. Hawaii

Dramatic coastlines, volcanoes, green forests, native culture, tropical breezes, white-sand beaches, spectacular resorts.

2. Mexico

A vast country with enough variety to please everyone. Bask in the sun at posh resorts on the Baja coast, visit the valley of Oaxaca for a glimpse of the ancient Mayan civilization, ride a train through majestic canyons, or shop until you drop.

3. Jamaica

Passion is inevitable on this tropical paradise island. Jamaica is the place for nonstop nightlife. Or stay at an all-inclusive, adults-only resort. Take a leisurely bamboo raft trip, or explore the caves and waterfalls that abound in its green forests.

4. St. Lucia

A bit of France, a bit of Britain, and a nature-lover's paradise - including a volcano. Great snorkeling in clear, blue waters. Sip a tropical drink in a hammock or walk through a rain forest with an ocean view.

5. Bahamas

A short distance from the U.S. mainland, the Bahamas are nearby and beautiful. More than 700 islands make up the Bahamas, with white, sandy beaches and a variety of accommodations to meet any budget.

6. Dominican Republic

A beautiful, affordable island destination. Being on a larger island that doesn't just focus on tourism, you can get some great deals, including many all-inclusives.

7. Tahiti

Many islands to choose from, including favorites Bora Bora and Moorea. Natural beauty, Polynesian hospitality, and plenty of privacy.

8. Fiji

White-powder beaches with beautiful palm trees, green mountains sweeping to the sea, tropical breezes, and secluded resorts scattered among 300-plus islands.

9. Antigua

Gorgeous beaches, perfect reefs for snorkeling or diving, and great weather, thanks to the trade winds.

10. Italy

From the northern Alps and lake country to Rome and the Amalfi Coast, Italy has everything for a romantic and classy honeymoon.

EndText